Its long past time when entire communities should have stood up and said ENOUGH.
The cops are totally out of control in this country, stories like this one are the now the rule, not the exception and until the public as a whole takes a stand against this it will continue.
If entire communities and cities would simply stop supporting the local police, demand change and begin voting out officials who refuse to effect change. We can stop this before it reaches another Rodney King level event, but this time on a nationwide scale.
The cops “might not” be the enemy but they clearly aren’t your friends either.
Helmut O' Hooligan |
July 5th, 2011 at 6:01 pm
What a sad, sad situation. I extend my deepest sympathy to the Kephart family.
When the police lose the support of small town (white) mountain people in San Bernadino county, they really are on a downward slope that, of course began with black Americans so many years ago (think “slave patrols”). Then came Mexicans in the southwest, Chinese in California, and young people, especially since the 1960′s.
As the police state grows, so does the realization that it CAN happen here. Who would imagine they would freak out in San Bernadino (thanks to Mr. Zappa. RIP)? Or in New Hampshire. Or in Columbia, MO. Or in Rochester, NY. Or Pima County, AZ. The list goes on and on.
Police everywhere need to stop smirking at the very mention of citizen’s rights. They need to stop defending every action of a “brother officer” without considering the legal and moral legitimacy of those actions. They need to stop referring to us as “civilians” in a condescending (and inaccurate) manner. They need to stop dreaming up new reasons to fuck with the populace. And the departments they work for need to end the obsession with numbers-based policing (number of tickets, number of arrests, number of guns confiscated, pounds of cannibas siezed, dollars gained through asset forfieture, etc).
But if police and their administrators want to talk numbers, we can do that. The police need to keep in mind that WE outnumber them. If WE decide not to support them, they are done. If WE decide to actively resist oppressive agencies, they are fucked. So keep those numbers in mind.
Helmut O’ Hooligan “But if police and their administrators want to talk numbers, we can do that. The police need to keep in mind that WE outnumber them. If WE decide not to support them, they are done. If WE decide to actively resist oppressive agencies, they are fucked. So keep those numbers in mind.”
The vast majority of people in this country still revere the police so I just don’t see enough people getting fed up with it. To most people everytime the police murder or brutalize or ruin someone’s life its just an isolated incident. The only thing that can change this would be for the national media to start reporting on these stories as often as they happen. That’s why I often send links to this site to the local news where I live. Even then I’m not sure it’ll ever do any good.
If I were the police, particularly the San Bernardino Police, I would take notice of the fact that approximately 20 hours ago “The Killing of Allen Kephart” has made the blogs on Forbes offered by E.D. Kain from American Times. Now if this story can make it into Forbes, maybe this story has some legs. Been to Lake Arrowhead a few times, beautiful country, locals were great. If this community has turned against the police force, something is seriously amiss and the cops are in denial. Hmmmm, it”s be interesting to see how this one shakes out. I’ll bet the cops loose this one.
I think what we have here is a big-city / urban Sheriffs department running up against a small community, and reacting to everything as if it were the drugged up criminal element they run into in the gang infested city, even though they’re in a bucolic mountain community. Lake Arrowhead has approx 12,000 people, San Bernardino itself has over 200,000 in the city limits. Who do you think has the most voting clout over the Sheriff there (the county population total is over 2 million now)?
Even if this had happened in downtown San Bernardino, it would still be excessive force… 5 taser cartridges on a man that was already on the ground?
Unfortunately, with the legal system and the near-immunity to prosecution that they enjoy, the deputies involved will likely get less than a slap on the wrist for what anyone else would be facing manslaughter charges (at a minimum).
This is more a demonstrated issue having to do with the “confrontational” style police-state tactics, instead of the “talk them down and give them a chance” that used to be normal in law enforcement. Law enforcement today is so “us versus them” instead of “we’re here to help the community” that they’d almost as well be an invading army….
What we really need is a supreme court ruling, federal law, or some such that protects the right of the people to film and document law enforcement at work in public. Confiscation of cameras should be considered a violation of federal civil rights, and should carry a stiff enough penalty that the Sheriffs dept. couldn’t afford to violate it often. It doesn’t even take much to stretch the first amendment to cover it, in terms of the Internet and Youtube of today (pretty much, everyone can be a journalist now.)